The Health Tech Alliance, a coalition of health technology companies and bodies from across the health system, chaired by the former deputy chief executive of NHS England Dame Barbara Hakin, has launched a new report which sets out how to transform the landscape for the medtech sector.
The report, titled: ‘Transforming the MedTech Landscape: COVID & Beyond’, outlines fifteen recommendations for how the government, NHS England and improvement and innovation bodies can take forward the learnings of the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that medtech plays a crucial role in alleviating the non-COVID care backlog that has consequently emerged.
Health Tech Alliance chair Dame Barbara Hakin said: “Medtech has a crucial role to play in addressing the patient backlog that has sadly emerged due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The last few years have seen the launch of several measures that have positively impacted the medtech sector, but it’s imperative that this progress is built upon if we are to truly transform the landscape for the medtech sector and most importantly of all, ensure that patients are able to access innovations which will save their lives.”
Amongst other things, the Health Tech Alliance urges policymakers to:
- Identify the ‘true’ backlog of elective and chronic care delayed due to COVID-19.
- Ensure that trusts and Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) have the appropriate expertise and are incentivised to drive care quality and improvements to patient outcomes.
- Implement, in full, the recommendations of the Independent Review of Diagnostic Services for NHS England by Professor Sir Mike Richards CBE.
- Harness the UK’s position in R&D through a long-term funding settlement for the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
- Launch the MedTech Funding Mandate in spring 2021 with a refreshed set of criteria, removing the requirement for eligible products to deliver in-year cost-savings.
Despite medtech products being a vital part of the health and social care system, companies continue to face a number of adoption challenges for a variety of reasons. The Health Tech Alliance urges policymakers to consider these recommendations in full to ensure that the UK continues to be regarded as a global hub for the life sciences sector.
Health Tech Alliance CEO Nicholas Lansman said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of innovation – but these learnings need to be taken forward to ensure that the ‘adoption challenge’ is finally addressed, once and for all. Medtech has a crucial role to play – not only in meeting the challenges of today but in delivering the vision of integrated care for tomorrow.”